KARACHI: The political parties, which are being targeted by the Pakistani Taliban for having ‘secular views,’ late on Tuesday said the coming May 11 polls are being hijacked by “local and international establishment,” DawnNews reported.
Speaking during a joint-press conference held at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquarters Nine-Zero in Karachi, Dr Farooq Sattar, Senator Rehman Malik and Senator Shahi Syed reiterated their stance to carry on with their respective electoral campaigns despite the terrorist threats.
At least 60 people have been killed in attacks targeting politicians and political parties across Pakistan since April 11.
The three main parties of the outgoing coalition government – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and MQM – had earlier in the day also rejected the call to bring in the Army in Sindh.
All three leaders, during the press conference, vowed to foil the conspiracy of bringing an extremist, pro-Taliban and right-wing government in the country.
“Militants want to divide Pakistan by bringing a pro-Taliban prime minister in the coming elections,” said former interior minister and PPP leader Rehman Malik.
He blamed the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab of providing cover to banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The prevailing sectarian violence in Karachi and elsewhere in the country is due to that patronage, he added.
“Pakistani and international establishment are behind keeping the three liberal political parties of the country away from coming into power,” said MQM’s Farooq Sattar. He said there was no level playing field being provided to all parties on parity.
The MQM leader urged the interim government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to fulfil their constitutional responsibility of ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.
ANP’s president of its Sindh chapter, Shahi Syed said that a conspiracy is being hatched against spirit of Islam and the survival of Pakistan. “Terrorists cannot frighten us……..its about time we stand together against the militants,” said Syed. “Taliban were assassins, are and will remain that,” he added.
The three leaders, prior to the press conference, held a consultative session to device a joint-electoral strategy for the coming polls.